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Beast asteroid to come within a 777,000 miles of Earth

Massive Beast asteroid is set to pass by Earth this weekend, missing our planet by 777,000 miles.
By Danielle Haynes   |   June 7, 2014 at 11:34 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, June 7 (UPI) -- The so-called Beast asteroid is expected to miss Earth by about 777,000 miles, which is a good thing because the 1,100-foot wide behemoth could do serious damage.

There's no chance the asteroid will hit Earth, scientists say, but at 777,000 miles away -- 3.25 times the distance from the Earth to the moon -- it's a relatively close call.

The asteroid is about 10 to 20 times bigger than the one that injured 1,000 people last year in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Bob Berman, of the Slooh community observatory said. That asteroid was 55 feet wide.

The asteroid was first spotted April 23 by NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer.

"What's disconcerting is that a rocky/metallic body this large, and coming so very close, should have only first been discovered this soon before its nearest approach," Berman said. "If it were impact us, the energy released would be measured not in kilotons like the atomic bombs that ended World War II, but in H-bomb type megatons."

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